Border Force forging closer ties with PNG

Papua New Guinea and Australia are forging closer bilateral ties through engagement on border and customs issues of mutual importance, including tackling transnational crime and maritime security in the region.

ABF Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg said border protection issues were high on the shared agenda for both nations.

“As our closest neighbour, our colleagues in the Papua New Guinea Customs Service (PNGCS) share a strong desire to work together to continually strengthen border integrity in relation to the movement of people and goods, particularly in the Torres Strait” Commissioner Quaedvlieg said.

The two nations already host an annual bilateral meeting at which senior ABF and PNGCS representatives discuss capacity building initiatives, joint operational activities and other elements of customs and trade facilitation cooperation.

The most recent gathering was co-chaired by Commissioner Quaedvlieg and PNG Customs Service Chief Commissioner Ray Paul in Canberra in December 2015.

 “In our upcoming meetings, we look forward to pursuing a greater focus on cross and joint border patrols, joint operations and data sharing,” Commissioner Quaedvlieg said.

“We want to be able to share information and intelligence with our PNG counterparts as quickly as possible to maintain border integrity and effectively combat border crime, such as drug trafficking, firearms movements, and illegal fishing.”

In particular the ABF is continuing to work with PNGCS on the establishment of a dedicated sea cargo Container Examination Facility in Port Moresby, similar to those which have been operating successfully in Australia for more than a decade.

“The Chief Commissioner and I agree on the importance of intelligence when identifying risks in cargo consignments and we will be working with PNG to increase its capability in this area,” Commissioner Quaedvlieg said.

At the December meeting, Chief Commissioner Paul invited Commissioner Quaedvlieg to visit PNG and address the annual PNG Customs Leadership Conference in Madang, on 26 January 2016. The date also marks International Customs Day.

Media contact: Immigration and Border Protection (02) 6264 2244

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